Pull-Apart Bread

Growing up, there was another Easter staple (also made frequently on regular Sundays) - Pull Apart Bread.  Otherwise known as Monkey Bread.  I did not know that this was called Monkey Bread though until I was in college.  We always called it Pull Apart.  Because, well, you pull it apart for individual servings.  It's really a dessert, similar to cinnamon rolls.  But I won't tell anyone if you don't.  You could serve it for breakfast like a cinnamon roll with a light glaze made from powdered sugar and milk. But I grew up eating this at dinner.

The original recipe for this, from my mom, calls for powdered milk.  Frankly, I never cook with it, and so I don't have it in my pantry.  Do they even sell it in the store anymore?  An easy substitute is to use evaporated milk for 3/4 of your liquid.  Your bread still is fluffy and rich.  The pecans are a nice little surprise and give the rolls a slight crunch.  The best advice I can give you for this is to make sure you don't over bake it, which is easy to do.  When I make mine, I cook it for exactly 30 minutes and it comes out perfect.  Because of the butter and sugar, it could be easy to overcook and scorch your bread, which is yucky.  Really.

Pull-Apart Bread


1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
1/2 cup hot water
2 Tbs. yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 tsp. salt
4-5 cups bread flour
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbs. cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans


1. In a stand mixer, stir together evaporated milk, hot water, yeast, and sugar.  Let sit for 5 minutes to activate yeast.

2. Add egg, butter, salt, and 2 cups flour.  Using dough hook, begin mixing ingredients on a low setting.  Mix until flour is incorporated.  Add remaining flour, 1 cup at a time, until dough pulls away from side of bowl and is only slightly sticky.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 1-2 hours or until double in size.

3. While dough is rising, combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Grease a bundt pan with cooking spray.  Grab palm size amounts of dough and roll into a ball between your hands.  Dip each ball into the melted butter and then roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Place in bundt pan to create layers, sprinkling a handful of pecans over each layer.  Pour remaining butter over top of rolls and sprinkle remaining cinnamon sugar over top.

*Note: do not place balls so tightly together that they won't have enough room to expand while rising.  Simply place them next to each other.  

5. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until 1 inch higher than pan, about 30 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until browned.

7. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack.  Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes.  Place a plate on top of the bread and flip pan over to remove bread from pan.  Serve warm.

Serves 15-20
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